The following has been contributed by a B4T worker in the Arab world.
In Hebrews 2, the author is laying out the logic of why Jesus needed to come to the earth as a man, live a perfect life among us, die on the cross for our sins, and be raised back to life to defeat death. The logic is setup for Hebrew readers, both to strengthen their faith, and to bring about a lasting perseverance. At the end of chapter 2, the author says something that should catch our attention in regards to relating to the peoples the Father has called us to serve amongst.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Wow, think about this. In every respect means that Jesus was made 100% into the likeness of a man. He had all our organs, all our thought processes, all our physical deficiencies, etc. Why did God find it necessary to come to earth as a human and become like us in every respect? SO THAT He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in His own service, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Even though He was inherently merciful, He couldn’t inherently be a high priest who sympathized with our weaknesses unless He actually did things that caused Him to sympathize with our weaknesses. By the law of His character, He couldn’t have made propitiation for our sins without doing something to make propitiation for our sins. He couldn’t have just come to earth to “be” among us – He had to come to earth and do certain things to physically identify with us, so that we would also be able to identify with Him.
Becoming a merciful and faithful high priest and making propitiation for the sins of the people carries a very high priority in God’s book; if not, He wouldn’t have gone to such great lengths!
Understand, Jesus came to identify with us in every respect, not just some respects. That means, the greater number of points we can identify with those we are called to serve as B4T’ers, the more we will be setup to imitate and offer Jesus to them. By working alongside the people every day for 8+ hours, we are identifying with them in far greater ways than if we just met them in a coffee shop once a week. By entering into their offices, their boardrooms, their meetings, their workplace – we are also entering into their daily life, their schedules, their stress, their frustrations, their battles, their pain, their victories, their excitement, etc.
By entering into their world, we aren’t just identifying with them; we are giving them space to learn to identify with us. If we want the Lordship of Jesus in our life not to be a foreign concept to people, we must move in and show them why it doesn’t have to be foreign. If we want them to experience the incredible salvation we have by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, we must become enough like them so that we share experiences and our way of life loses its “foreignness”. If we move overseas and choose not to work a job, we are eliminating a very important way that people identify with one another. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get to work!
OPEN USA supports workers in the 10/40 Window, who are doing Business for Transformation. This author’s identifying information has been withheld due to security reasons. To learn more about OPEN USA and B4T, visit Find Yourself in B4T.